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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2011
Ordered this book for my wife after she said that this year she wanted to make gifts for people for a change and i thought she could do with a helping hand so here is her review on it:

The book is fantastic,I have owned a sewing machine for sometime now although i have only ever made the odd cushion cover, this book has given me so many ideas and i am just starting to make a patchwork quilt for my neices birthday, the instructions are easy to follow and at the rate i'm going i'll be challenging myself to a new project from the book by the end of the month.
The layout to the book is very simple and it doesnt bombard you with lots of complicated terms and one of the best bits is that although this is an American book it has been republished for the UK which means the suppliers lists at the end of the book are in the UK which is great so no hunting on the internet for equivilent suppliers needed. The CD at the back of the book also very helpful.
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92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
This is an exquisite book for all lovers of embroidery, crafts, samplers, stitchery and generally artistic stuff that you can make with thread and material. It is a large hardback, perfectly laid out with beautiful photography depicting the many craft projects you can undertake against stunning backgrounds which make you wish you lived in a Grand Designs house and had an award-winning interior designer at your beck and call (if you didn't already).

The book begins with introductory information about stitches, basics, equipment you will need and so on. Then it moves into projects with step by step instructions all carefully and succinctly illustrated. You can learn how to embroider pictures, clothes, book covers, cushion covers, stitch with ribbons, make your own duvet covers, make a dress, children's clothes, dolls from scratch...there is appliqué, how to dye material, cross-stitch, make a linen bag, decorate your home made bag...the list is endless. In fact I will spend many happy hours browsing this book before I even get on to making anything.

There is also a very useful CD included from which you can print your own patterns. Excellent. Don't be put off that this is an American book by an infamous author; it does not detract from the marvellous content of this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The first thing that strikes me about this book is its very impressive size and weight! It is a huge book which made me hope that there must be a wealth of knowledge inside.

The good news is that there is! The book starts off with a very useful fabric glossary, followed by a thread glossary before launching to techniques such as appliqué, quilting and embroidery.

The rest of the book is an A-Z of projects...from Animals (including sock dogs and a felted pig) through to Wall decor. Each project is accompanied by written instructions, photos and diagrams in places to further demonstrate techniques.

At the end of the book there is a tools and material section detailing the different equipment you could use and what they are used for plus a tips and extra technique section. There is also a list of places you can get sewing supplies including several of our customers such as Sewbox, The Make Lounge, The Eternal Maker and Gone to Earth. Also there is a cd-rom at the back of the book with patterns and templates on it.

If you are looking for a book with a lot of projects that will introduce you to some new techniques along the way then this is the book for you. It wouldn't describe as an encyclopedia of sewing as such, more an encyclopedia of sewing projects.

This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2010
This book is fantastic - it only arrived this morning and I have not put it down! The book is classic Martha Stewart beautiful photographs and laid out fantastic but best of all is the supplier list is UK based!

The book has a CD of the patterns in the book and is a nice add on.

Great price for so many projects!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2011
As times are hard, I've found a new love for sewing and have been creating little things to sell but felt my sewing technique wasn't perfect and needed a little help and a little inspiration with projects. This books does all that and more. I love it, Love it, Love it.
Gorgeous pictures, great explanations and very easy to follow. Plus I didn't realise it came with a cd with the patterns on it, so that you can print them out.
I'm one very happy customer.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2011
I don't know where to begin with this book. It's definetely NOT an encyclopedia of sewing. It's more like a collection of quick-read pages from a sewing magazine. The content is so disappointing, a majority of the 'sewing projects' are merely ideas to freshen up store-bought items in a quick way that involves fabric and scissors. The ones that are sewn from scratch are poorly described (such as the directions to sew a set of curtains saying something like 'cut fabric, sew bordes to main using french seams, yadayada, hang with curtain pins). That's not a how-to, thats the outline of an IDEA. I could have thought up that myself, I look to a book for directions.

Most of the 'projects' have only one photo, showing the item off from one direction only, and especially with the curtains I'd like to see the back.

All in all, I would not recommend this book to anyone. Novice sewers will be left to think up their own solutions for instructions like 'hang with curtain pins', cause Martha surely won't help them out. Advanced sewers will probably have thought of the ideas in this book themselves. But if you are simply looking for a collection of ideas of things to sew, you might find this book entertaining.... For about twenty minutes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2011
I really like the begining section of the book. This gives a good explaination of basic equipment and sewing machine basics. It also explains lots of different sewing techniques, different fabrics and ways to dye and print on fabric.

However, I was really dissapointed with the selection of sewing projects and found them uninspiring. I found the instructions a little vauge in places and the CD to print out the patterns is quite annoying - I don't have a printer and would much rather have a bog pull out sheet I can trace a pattern from.

Overall its ok.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2010
I love Martha Stewart so I don't mind having a back up in case the original gets mucky from my constant fondling but I do think it is cheeky to change the cover and dupe people into buying the same thing a second time. I tried very hard to check the ISBN numbers to see if this was the identical book I bought last year [it is] but they did not seem to tally. This is more the fault of the booksellers than Martha.

Anyway, that aside, this is a fantastic book for anyone serious about making things. The Americans have a different view of crafts from ours. Crafts are not the domain of women with hairy armpits or Kirsty wannabees. Real, ordinary women make stuff. It is not demeaning, it is natural. The impulse to embellish and beautify one's surroundings is, in my view, a humanising one and should be encouraged. I want to make everything in this book and, if I did [or could], I would be inordinately proud.

The instructions are clear and easy to follow. I have attempted one or two simple projects and have been delighted with the results. If you need a confidence boost or want make things you would actually use, this is essential reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2011
outstanding book! truly excellent, great for any level but i'm a beginner and am very very impressed with the how to's, pictures, coaching points and style of tips. very inspiring super and big book! will be used very regularly. something for everyone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2010
I bought this book a few weeks ago, very well presented and easy to follow instructions. Lots of projects to choose from. I want to do them all "but not possible". I have been inspired and hope I can get past just looking and doing. Great for beginners and more proficient sewers. Very good, to keep if you have any creative children at home. Should have bought something like this years ago. Every dressmaker should have one.
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